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Visiting Milan

Show-stopping art, a passion for fashion, mouth-watering food, and a football powerhouse - Milan ticks all the boxes, and gives you brilliant extras, too. How about cathedrals and castles, perfect people-watching, and a stunning lake district on the doorstep? Bellissima.

Icelandair offers regular cheap flights to Milan from North America for Da Vinci, delectable risotto and the ultimate retail therapy (pack your credit card!).

Before you dip into the arcades and architecture of Europe's fashion capital, how about exploring a tiny but cool Nordic capital? When you book flights to Milan with Icelandair you have the opportunity to add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.

Pay respects to art and architecture

You need to book ahead to get a glimpse of Milan's blockbuster artwork, but it's worth the effort. Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper mural was painted in the late 15th century and it's a privilege to see it up close.

There are more artistic treasures to unearth at the Pinacoteca di Brera gallery, and contemporary art brings many culture-vultures to the city.

The Duomo, Milan's grand cathedral, is another show-stopper - it's huge, built from marble, and houses some astonishing stained glass. Its rooftop is a highlight, for stunning statues and spires plus inspirational views.

Come evening, you can head to a temple of a different type. The Teatro alla Scala is one of the world's finest theaters and its interior is decked out in gilt-edged style (so are the patrons, so dress up).

Buon appetito!

We all know that food is a feature of any trip to Italy, and Milan takes it up a notch with fine signature dishes like the golden-hued risotto alla milanese (heavy on butter, colored with saffron) and cotoletta alla milanese (breaded veal cutlet, cooked in more butter).

You can track down small back-street trattorias, fun cafes and wine bars, and plenty of Michelin-starred marvels. Great neighborhoods to scout at mealtime include Brera and Navigli. Porta Romana is the new hipster haven.

To fuel your appetite, don't miss a visit to Peck, a revered food store that's been satisfying local cravings since 1883. And be sure to embrace the cherished local custom for aperitivo, a leisurely pre-dinner drink accompanied by tasty snacks - it's the Italian happy hour, done in style.

The passion for fashion

Fashionistas, are you tempted to take an empty suitcase and hit the stores? Go right ahead. Milan has long been considered one of the fashion capitals of the world, and major Italian labels like Prada, Armani, Versace and Valentino are headquartered here.

You'll no doubt admire the beautiful locals strutting their style - to emulate them, start in the chic shopping district known as the 'Quadrilatero d'Oro' (the 'Golden Rectangle') just north of the Duomo.

Even if you're not visiting Milan to shop until you drop, stop by the landmark Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It's a shopping arcade from the 1860s that drips with architectural elegance.

If you need a breather from the designer price tags, hit the food emporiums for a tasty browse, or navigate to neighborhoods like Brera and Navigli.